Notre Dame Football Recruiting: Top 2013 in-State Recruits Who Can't Slip Away
The ink is still drying on the 2012 recruiting class, but in college football, and especially for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, there is no recruiting season. Brian Kelly and the staff are always looking for the next player to sign with the team.
As you can tell by taking one look at its roster, Notre Dame doesn't go after many in-state recruits
However, the Irish have nabbed quite a few stars from the Hoosier State. Tyler Eifert, Zack Martin and Braxton Cave have all been valuable contributors, and there are a number of hometown guys on the team that could step into the limelight soon.
It isn't realistic to think Notre Dame would grab five in-state players. Instead, Notre Dame looks to other states to fill its recruiting classes, but this year, there are players from Indiana the team should have no hesitation in going after.
David Kenney, DE
David Kenney is one of five recruits in the state of Indiana rated by Rivals.com.
Currently ranked as a 4-star defensive end, Kenney is explosive and has one of the best swim moves in the country. He also has tremendous power and frequently lays vicious hits on opposing quarterbacks.
He has already been offered a scholarship by Minnesota, Iowa, Iowa State, Louisville, Indiana and Cincinnati, according to Rivals.com, but Kenney still has yet to receive any attention from Notre Dame
Pass-rush has become a vital component to the success of any team. The Irish have a number of talented defensive ends on their roster, but fans should have no problem with the team stockpiling talented pass-rushers.
The coaching staff should make an offer to Kenney and start courting him immediately.
Darius Latham, DT
Big man Darius Latham is on Notre Dame's radar. He has been offered a scholarship by the Irish.
Latham plays on both sides of the line, and he is athletic enough to play just about wherever the coaches need him to.
While he was mostly featured at defensive end in high school, at 6'5", 275 pounds, he could play defensive tackle or along the offensive line as well.
Latham shows great physical strength off the edge. He doesn't have quite the same explosiveness as David Kenney (not many 275-pound players do), but Latham could develop into a fantastic bull rusher.
No fan should doubt that Latham would be a worthy addition to the roster if he decides to attend Notre Dame in 2013.
Jaylon Smith, OLB
Thus far, Jaylon Smith is widely considered the best prospect in the state of Indiana. He is rated by Rivals.com as a 4-star recruit at linebacker just shy of a perfect 5-star ranking (he is a 6.0 on a scale that ends at 6.1)
Smith is an extremely physical outside linebacker who has good coverage skills. He pursues the football well, and bursts after it when he sees an open lane.
Smith also has long arms (think Ishaq Williams) and great speed for a linebacker.
The Indiana native currently stands at 6'2", 202 pounds. After adding some weight to his sizable frame, Smith would be a powerful force at outside linebacker for the Irish.
Notre Dame doesn't need any help realizing Smith's ability. The Irish have already extended him a scholarship offer.
Isaac Griffith, WR
Wideout Isaac Griffith has much less of a chance of getting an offer from the Irish than the other players listed here.
So far, he has only received scholarship offers from Ball State and Wyoming, but Griffith is a perfect fit for Brian Kelly's spread system.
He has yet to be rated by Rivals.com, but regardless of where he ends up on the rankings, Griffith has a ton of potential.
He is fast, energetic, has solid hands and could be a factor in the return game.
At 6'0", 185 pounds, Griffith has a great combination of receiver and running back skills.
Griffith is a hard runner that doesn't go down easily, and he uses his speed to get behind the secondary as a deep threat.
If he ends up having another stellar season in 2013, Griffith could be too good for the Irish to pass up.
Tim Kimbrough, LB
Notre Dame picked up a player from Warren Central High School in its 2012 recruiting class—Sheldon Day.
Now, fans should be hoping the Irish grab another in Tim Kimbrough, a 6'1", 226-pound linebacker rated a 4-star recruit by Rivals.com.
Kimbrough is solid in coverage for a linebacker and has no problem taking on or shedding blockers.
He has a nose for the football as he easily reads how plays develop. Kimbrough is quick as well, and he covers a lot of ground.
With Manti Te'o leaving Notre Dame for the NFL in 2013, the team needs to look for a long-term replacement at inside linebacker. There are already options available on the team's roster, but Kimbrough may be a better one.
There is only one problem with getting him to enroll at Notre Dame, Kimbrough still needs an offer from the Fighting Irish.